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Old 07-10-2005, 19:42   #281
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Yep. They are well aware of certain retailers, particularly ones who ship popular items.
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Old 02-11-2005, 22:51   #282
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Customs & Excise Query

I ordered 3 titles from DVD Pacific recently

Christopher Lee Collection $2.49

Vincent Price Collection $2.49

Vault Of Horror: 10-Movie Set $11.17

Sub-Total: $16.15
Postage: $8.92
Total: $25.07

I received a card from the postman stating that there is a Customs charge of £11(ish) to pay. I cannot understand this as the total is clearly well under the £18 limit.

Is it possible that they have misread the $ for £ or that they do not believe the that DVD Pacific are selling these DVDs for the price listed?

I will not have a chance to go down to the sorting office until Friday and I would like some advice as to whether I should accept the package and pay the charge then try and get a refund for what is obviously an incorrect Customs demand. Will I get a refund of the Royal Mail portion of the charge? What will happen if I do not accept the package?

Thanks in advance


Edit:

Just spotted the FAQ and it is 15 pages so it will take me some time to read the thing to see if my questions are covered.

Last edited by jayok; 02-11-2005 at 22:59.
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Old 02-11-2005, 23:20   #283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayok
they do not believe the that DVD Pacific are selling these DVDs for the price listed?
I believe the prices are for ref only. If someone opened the package and believed them to be higher value then they will add thier charges.
As far as I know you will have to pay and you can get a form to claim it back.
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:50   #284
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YOu will be able to have a look at the customs sticker on the front of the parcel before paying (at least they allow me to at my local sorting office). See what they have put down there and how they have worked it out.

£11 would be a lot, even if they read it for £ instead of $, so it might be that they opened up the parcel and valued the DVDs themselves, as krayzk said. Or it might be that the person calculating the charges screwed up totally and was reading the wrong exchange rate or something (it happens).

Of course, it might also be that it's not your DVDPacific parcel at all, but something else!

Let us know how you get on

Last edited by Squirrel God; 03-11-2005 at 04:52.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:27   #285
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If the value of the goods excl. postage is less than £18 no customs charges should be made.

Customs sometimes make mistakes but you will need to pay the charge than contact customs for a refund, once you have the refund from customs you can get the refund for the RM admin charge. (if you don't pay you risk RM destroying the package).
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Old 03-11-2005, 13:16   #286
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Someone has either made a mistake, or they've opened the package and decided that the declaration was falsified (this could be because they didn't believe that you could get DVD's so cheaply). However, if it's been opened AFAIK it should have a notice on it saying so (and it'll be covered in red & yellow tape).

It's a pity that DVDPacific do not include a sales invoice in their packages, this would have removed any doubts as to what you paid for the goods.

I think you'll have to pay and get your stuff, since it's now in Royal Mail's hands, not Customs, and then dispute the charge with Customs by presenting them with proof you only paid that amount...

I'm not sure what happens to the goods otherwise.

A lot of people sucessfuly recovered money when DVDSoon refused to put discounted prices on their declarations, effectively valuing the goods above what was actually paid for them. And they also managed to get the £4 back off the Mail too, though I recall that was more complicated. If you troll through the DVDSoon thread, the addresses are in there - somewhere.

Of course, it's also possible that DVDPacific have mucked up, and put the wrong value on the declaration...or even sent you the wrong stuff! Are you expecting any other foreign packages, could it be something else?
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Old 03-11-2005, 14:59   #287
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I am not expecting any other package from anywhere else. I paid £14.56 including P&P for the DVDs. I will pay the extra and claim back the money from Customs and Royal Mail. Bloody numpties
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Old 03-11-2005, 15:04   #288
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It could be something silly like the customs label has been badly written so instead of looking like $16 (or $25) it looks like a lot more.

That happened with a parcel of mine that was about $17 I think but it was badly written and the customs person thought it read $77. (Not necessarily the correct values as was a while ago, but you get the idea).
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:51   #289
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Yeah DVDPacific don't use those nice declaration labels, they use a stamp which is often not very clear, and they write in the value by hand, rather than printing it.

I think you'll have to get your package and find out what's gone wrong.

To reluctantly give credit where it's due, Customs don't really make that many mistakes considering the huge volumes they process, lots of which have badly written declarations. And they do seem to have a good procedure for anyone needing to dispute a charge. AFAIK they will accept a printout of an online order confirmation as proof.

The Royal Mail, on the other hand...
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Old 04-11-2005, 13:46   #290
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Old 08-11-2005, 10:50   #291
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I'm thinking of buying something electrical from a private seller on ebay. Quite an expensive but obscure specialist hifi item. Naughty I know, but could I get him to state "repair" or something similar on the customs label to avoid duty?
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Old 09-11-2005, 13:46   #292
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Does anyone know if Audiobooks on CD are exempt? And also what amaozn.com declare on the customs label for these?
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Old 09-11-2005, 16:50   #293
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I had a look on the Customs & Revenue website, and there is a section about items subject to reduced and/or exempt from VAT.

Click Here

From what I could gather, "books" refers to Printed matter including books, newspapers etc and wouldn't encompass audiobooks. That seemed to be the case skimming through the large pdf file of stuff.

I'd try giving them a ring on that number if you're unsure. 0845 010 9000.

I'd guess that Amazon would (if they're on CD) show them as "optical media".
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Old 11-11-2005, 18:24   #294
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how do they usually examine the package?? do they physically open them or scan them?? i've got a psp delivered from japan with customs but it seems the package was never opened.
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Old 11-11-2005, 19:05   #295
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They would usually open the package and then reseal it. Normally there is a special customs tape they use and a notice saying it's been opened.

However they can also make a decision just based on information on the outside and an educated guess as to the contents. They are very wise to suppliers of popular gadgets such as the PSP. e.g. if the package says "Lik-Sang" they know to hit it (even when shipped from Europe as they know they are just re-shipping them without paying VAT).

Could be the declaration says it's a PSP and they've based it on that, and they won't go on the declared price, they know how much a PSP is worth.
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Old 11-11-2005, 20:08   #296
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nope, no special customs tape at all. i have examined it carefully and it really appears not to have been opened and resealed. the invoice was declared as $50 gift.
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Old 11-11-2005, 20:40   #297
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kungfuman
nope, no special customs tape at all. i have examined it carefully and it really appears not to have been opened and resealed. the invoice was declared as $50 gift.
If it was sent by a company customs will treat the duty free limit as £18 even if the package is marked as gift.
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Old 11-11-2005, 22:55   #298
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What else did the customs declaration say? i.e. what the content is, company, etc?

Any company markings on the box? Was there an invoice too (not the same as the declaration, but often can be in a clear envelope on the outside).

The 'gift' marking would raise alarm bells anyway especially if it doesn't look like it's from a private address.

My bet is if there's no other info on the outside, they've probably seen loads of similar packages go through from the same address and know full well what it is.
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Old 12-11-2005, 08:25   #299
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yes there is the companies markings and also an invoice BUT the invoice was also falsified to be a $50 gift. surely they cant just stamp customs on a parcel without actually verifying the contents?
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:37   #300
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They can do whatever they like. Law unto themselves. There is no obligation for them to use values declared or on the invoice either. If they suspect it's incorrect/falsified they can estimate the value.

You can contest it of course, but they've almost certainly guessed correctly that there's a PSP inside the box and know full well you'd never have a leg to stand on if you did try and claim.
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